- Embracing technological business disruptions such as digitization and automation will require upskilling employees, experts said in a new study. Research by Peppercomm and Echo Research released March 6 focused on perceptions of how well companies are preparing workforces. More than two thirds of 1,000 employees surveyed in the U.S. and U.K. agreed their companies provide training and instruction for upskilling.
- In contrast, roughly one third of employees said they aren’t getting what they need to contribute effectively in their rapidly evolving businesses. When looking at the perception of managers versus nonmanagers in the U.S., 39% of employees in nonmanagerial roles said they aren’t getting the training needed to meet technological advancements, compared to only 27% of managers who believed the same.
- An additional survey of 101 HR leaders found there’s a perception gap regarding how companies react to employee feedback. About 85% of HR leaders in the U.S. surveyed said their organizations are effective at collecting employee feedback, and 75% said they’re effective at acting on it. But less than half (46%) of U.S. employees said their companies collect employee input well. And even fewer (37%) employees in the U.S. said their companies are effective at taking action based on the input. Employers should start with specific goals, identify the barrier to success, and continually ask employees what’s working and what’s not, said Courtney Ellul, a partner in the Peppercomm London office.
When it comes to upskilling workers, creating personalized development programs is a best practice, say experts.
"Teaching people based on their individual needs will certainly be a trend in L&D in the upcoming year, as it's a win-win for both business and employee development," Paul Mumma, CEO of Cerego, told HR Dive in January. Personalization helps every employee learn to the best of their abilities, including enabling them to learn at their own pace, Mumma said. HR managers will play a pivotal role in implementing L&D programs.
"It largely goes back to the manager, the relationship and all the peer colleagues helping them at the beginning," David Gilman, president at Gilman Performance Solutions, previously told HR Dive. Rather than constantly feeling they must prove themselves, employees should feel encouraged to learn at their own pace, Gilman added.
On the other hand, technology’s disruption is enabling better education and communication inside organizations, Ann Barlow, Peppercomm senior partner and employee experience lead, said in a statement. However, Peppercomm also said HR leaders must ensure all employees partake in the upskilling process.
“We’re also seeing that HR executives may have concluded that a group of employees will retire ahead of when a new skillset is essential, and for others that the gap between current and future required skills is just too wide,” Peppercomm said. “Along with their communications counterparts, HR leaders must ensure that employees aren’t being left behind for other reasons.
A study discussed during an National Skills Coalition panel discussion Feb. 5, 2020 in Washington, D.C., found that millions of workers in the U.S. have very limited or no digital skills.